Autumn is a time of significant changes in nature. And this is not only the beauty of fading parks and squares. The onset of cold weather, bad weather, short days, lack of sun – all these are also signs of autumn, which often adversely affect our health. In addition to colds, autumn blues and exacerbations of chronic diseases, insomnia manifests itself. Why do sleep disorders appear during this period, and sometimes in people who at other times have no similar problems? How to deal with insomnia?
Causes of Autumn Insomnia
There are physiological and psychological causes of autumn insomnia. The first group includes the body’s response to adverse weather conditions characteristic of this season:
- pressure surges due to unstable weather conditions;
- discomfort associated with lowering the temperature;
- mood downturn and sometimes the development of depression as a result of reduced daylight hours.
The latter circumstance is considered by physiologists to be the main cause of autumn insomnia. Sunlight has a huge impact on all processes in our body, including the regulation of biological rhythms that are responsible for sleep and wakefulness. Under the action of infrared radiation, the neurotransmitter serotonin is synthesized (it is called the “hormone of happiness”), which is responsible for good mood and effectively resists depressions. The amount of another substance, the sleep hormone melatonin, which is synthesized at night and, besides other functions, is responsible for the full healthy sleep, depends on its amount in the body.
Due to the lack of daylight in the autumn season and a decrease in the formation of serotonin in the body, the production of melatonin is reduced, which explains not only the autumn blues, but also the deterioration of sleep quality: problems with falling asleep, night or early awakening, insomnia. Scientists have experimentally proved that a sufficient amount of light received by a person normalizes sleep and improves the condition of patients suffering from chronic seasonal depression.
Psychological factors that adversely affect the quality of sleep include longing for a departed summer, good weather, a holiday that has ended or a vacation. The need to re-adapt to the strict routine of the working (school) year, returning to the forgotten cares in summer, coupled with natural changes, causes apathy and irritation in many people, worsens sleep. However, there are ways to help fight both seasonal depression and insomnia.
HLS and correct habits against insomnia
This is an old truth: to have a healthy sleep, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress do not contribute to a good night’s rest. Let’s take a closer look at how our habits and lifestyle affect sleep.
Many studies have demonstrated that exercise is an effective tool in the fight against sleep disorders and chronic insomnia. 150 minutes per week of moderate or intense physical activity improves the quality of sleep by 65%. It has long been observed: you move more – you fall asleep faster.And the reason for this is not just fatigue, there are other factors. Walking, swimming, dancing relieve tension, reduce the level of anxiety; more intense types of activity release endorphins – substances whose release causes a feeling of pleasure and joy. All this helps to strengthen the nervous system, improves the emotional state, which has a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep. However, you should refrain from intense physical exertion in the evening: the excitement caused by them can interfere with sleep.
Movement in the open air during the daytime will bring even more benefits, since intensive light-induced serotonin production will be added to the above, and saturation of the body with oxygen will best affect the functioning of the nervous system. When it is impossible to use enough daylight, scientists advise installing powerful lamps of artificial lighting at home or at work. However, scientists warn about the dangers of blue radiation from the screens of various gadgets, which prevents the production of melatonin, and do not recommend using phones, computers and other similar devices before going to bed.
- Creating an evening ritual.
For a comfortable sleep, you need an appropriate atmosphere in the evening, which you need to create yourself. She should relax and soothe. It is better to abandon the discussions of daytime affairs, worries and thoughts about them, postpone physical or intellectual activity until the next day, dim the lights. It is very important to come up with a sequence of actions that are repeated every evening. Evening toilet, soothing music or reading a good book, a cup of herbal tea, meditation – to each his own. Habitual ritual will help prepare the body for the night’s rest. Should be habitual and bedtime.
- Essential oils.
Lavender, marjoram, chamomile oils have a sedative effect and make it easier to fall asleep. A few drops of this oil can be applied to the bend of the elbow, the wrist, or behind the ear. A pouch with dried hop cones placed at the head will also contribute to a good sleep.
Food and drinks that help you fall asleep
The food we eat not only ensures the vitality of our body, but also in a certain way affects its various functions. In particular, some substances contained in food may hinder or facilitate the process of falling asleep, improve or worsen the quality of sleep.
Do not use before bedtime:
- Coffee, strong tea and caffeinated beverages due to their stimulating effect.
- Alcohol. Its relaxing effect, which helps to quickly fall asleep, does not last long, after which comes restless superficial sleep, not conducive to rest and recuperation.
They facilitate sleep and improve the quality of sleep products containing tryptophan, which is involved in the synthesis of serotonin and its transformation into melatonin. Record holders of this amino acid are:
- hard cheese;
- nuts and seeds;
- turkey, rabbit, chicken, veal, beef, beef liver;
- red and black caviar, herring, salmon, squids;
- soya beans;
- dates, dried apricots.
Products containing magnesium and potassium will help you fall asleep, vitamins groups B, iron; These substances contribute to better digestion of tryptophan, and also have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, relieving tension and calming. These products include:
- banana, dried dates;
- cherry, cherry juice (contains melatonin);
- oats, buckwheat;
- pumpkin, carrot;
- milk products.
Well relieve stress, calm and have a slight hypnotic effect of herbal teas with valerian, chamomile, linden, mint. A proven old remedy is warm milk with honey.
Have a good sleep in any weather!